A plea to Adam McCalvy: Start using sabermetrics

I hope most of you already know who Adam McCalvy is, but if not, here’s a little background. He covers the Milwaukee Brewers for MLB.com and is a fantastic follow on Twitter. And that’s about it. Well, there’s actually probably a lot more to him, but I don’t want to bore you. No offense, Adam.

But on a more serious note, he’s a top-notch writer. However, he does have one glaring flaw; he fails to use advanced statistics in his articles. Now, we can’t place full blame on McCalvy for this. Sabermetrics is still a relatively new theory and people question the audience for it, so maybe McCalvy’s bosses want him to shy away from metrics and use well-known stats like pitcher wins and batting average to get his point across. On the other hand, maybe McCalvy is weary of the sabermetric movement, and chooses to ignore it. To be honest, I really don’t know, but he did tweet this earlier in the year:

Before I go any further, I must reiterate that I’m not trying to criticize McCalvy’s work or call his credibility into question. Brewers fans should feel lucky to read his stuff every day, as he is great at educating and entertaining.

Back to the tweet. McCalvy acknowledges that Quality Starts are flawed, but then uses the statistic anyway to make a point. A start  is considered quality when a pitcher throws at least six innings and gives up no more than three runs. That translates to a 4.50 ERA, which never should be considered quality. Therefore, Quality Starts, or at least how they’re defined, are completely useless. He also uses wins when it comes to talking about a pitcher’s performance, but then again, almost every other beat writer does so as well.

McCalvy, along with the rest of baseball media, should consider using sabermetrics in his blogs. I can just see it now; Adam McCalvy: A Sabermatician. Sabermetrics is growing more and more popular by the day and site’s dedicated to advanced metrics, like FanGraphs and Beyond the Box Score, are thriving. We don’t want to see McCalvy get lost in the shuffle from his inability to adapt. We are already too accustomed to that as Brewers fans.

The three statistics I would like McCalvy to start incorporating are wOBA, wRC+ and FIP. None of those are difficult to explain and even the old school guys would be able to wrap their head around it. By doing this, McCalvy would not only give his readers a better understanding of how a player is performing, but he’d sound smarter. And everyone wants to sound smarter.

I’m pleading to McCalvy because I don’t think there’s a chance in a unicorn’s horn that Tom Haudricourt would take up arms in the sabermetrics movement. I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed. At least I have a small chance of convincing McCalvy (I think).

So please, Adam, give more insight to your readers and jump into the world of awesome statistics. The people will love you for it. I know I will.




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